Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review: Starstruck by Rachel Shukert

I was blown away by this story. Is that how Hollywood really was in the 1930s?! If so, it's crazy.

This story follows three girls who are wanting to be (or already are) in the acting business: Margaret (later, Margo) is a high school socialite from Pasadena who is discovered in a soda shop. She goes to the studio to do a screening to see if they want her...and they do. Gabby is a former vaudeville girl who had an act with her sister, before her sister ran off with a magician. She's told the camera adds 10 pounds so she needs to lose 20. Amanda has clawed her way up, running away from home when she was 14 and doing whatever it takes to survive, even being an escort for awhile. And then there is the mystery of Diana, who has disappeared and no one knows (or will talk about) where she is.

What was really crazy to me was how controlling the studio was. Once you signed on with them, they controlled what you wore, what you looked like, what you ate, who you were seen with, who you had a "relationship" with, which roles you had, etc. Certain studios owned certain actors and actresses, so they couldn't just go take whatever role they wanted. Margo had a connection with Dane, but wasn't allowed at all to socialize with him--she had to be with Jimmy and he had no interest--it was all a show.

My heart broke for Margo. I cannot imagine what she was going through--she had her big dreams and awful parents and her dreams were nothing like her reality. Gabby tried to hard. I felt sorry for her too, but she needed to relax. Amanda. What is real with her? It's like she's been living in a role for so long that she doesn't even know who she really is.

There was some content with this book. There was some language (nothing really strong), some drinking/drunk episodes, some pill-popping, some immoral acts (but most of it was so vague, I had to second guess myself if that was really what was happening), but I feel that these incidents had to be there to tell the story (well, maybe not the swearing). If that's what really went on behind the scenes in Hollywood, you can't gloss over it. And even if that's not what happened, it happened in the story.

I'm hoping there's another book and that this is a series, because I felt like nothing was wrapped up.

No comments:

Post a Comment